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            [post_title] => 5 Priorities for Becoming a More Strategic People Manager
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Touching back on my last blog I mentioned that culture needs to become a strategic business priority (like sales, profit, etc.) and not just a HR priority.

boat with leader Source: www.clubsolutionsmagazine.com

Leadership teams can start the creation of high performance cultures by implementing the following 6 steps:

1. Establish a sense of urgency

They need to make it clear that the current culture needs to change, articulate the vision and business case, and describe the opportunity (as John P. Kotter states in his book The 8-Step Process for Leading Change) in a way that appeals to the hearts and minds of people.

2. Develop a set of strategic beliefs

These are the beliefs senior executives have about their organisation’s environment that enables shaping business strategy e.g. Dell believed that customers would, if the price was right, buy computers from a catalogue rather than go to computer stores as the conventional wisdom dictated they would. They created a $7 billion business.

3. Develop a set of values

Values enable the organisation to act on its strategic beliefs and implement their strategy the right way. Values shape the culture of an organisation, define its character and serve as a foundation in how people act and make decisions. Dell’s values supporting its strategy and strategic beliefs include: Delivering results that make a positive difference; leading with openness and optimism and winning with integrity.

4. Capitalise on quick wins

Capitalize on and honour your cultural strengths and act quickly on any critical behaviour changes required.

5. Challenge those norms that get on the way of high performance

Norms are informal guidelines about what is considered normal (what is correct or incorrect) behaviour in a particular situation. Peer pressure to conform to team norms is a powerful influencer on people’s behaviour, and it is often a major barrier affecting change. It is always easier to go along with the norm than trying to change it…. Common samples of negative norms in some organisations: Perception that it is ok to yell at people, ignore people’s opinions, etc.

6. Role model and recognise the desired behaviours

As Gandhi wonderfully put it “Be the change you want to see in the world”. This empowers action and helps embed the desired culture you are trying to create. Behaviour is a function of its consequences. Behaviour that results in pleasant consequences is more likely to be repeated, and behaviour that results in unpleasant consequences is less likely to be repeated. According to B. F. Skinner and reinforcement theory “future behavioural choices are affected by the consequences of earlier behaviours”. The argument is clear; if you want people to be brave and challenge the status quo, you shouldn’t make them feel awkward or like difficult employees when they do. Furthermore, if want people to contribute at meetings make sure you actively listen to them and act on their suggestions and ideas.


On his famous article “On the folly of rewarding A while hoping for B” Steven Kerr argues that the way in which we reward and recognise people doesn’t always deliver the desired results. We all have being in situations where we are told to plan for long-term growth yet we are rewarded purely on quarterly earnings; we are asked to be a team player and are rewarded solely on our individual efforts; we are told that the way in which results are achieved is important and yet we promote people who achieve results the wrong / in a Machiavellian way. A friend of mine was recently at a hospital and he complained to the ward manager about the doctor’s bad manners and rudeness. The answer he got was “do you want to be treated by the best heart doctor in the country or a not so good doctor but with a really nice bed manner?”.

My argument is why can’t we have both?

Pedro Angulo is the Programme Director of the IMI Diploma in Strategic HR Management starting on 16th November 2016. Pedro is an Organisational Effectiveness Business Partner in AIB and Chairperson of the Irish EMCC (European Mentoring and Coaching Council). He is a motivational speaker and regular presenter at HR, coaching, change and business conferences / events. _____________________________________ [post_title] => 6 Steps to start the creation of high performance cultures [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 6-strategies-start-creation-high-performance-cultures [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 19:48:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 19:48:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=12562 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )


23rd Jun 2023

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5 Priorities for Becoming a More Strategic People Manager
6 Steps to start the creation of high performance cultures

Navigating Uncertainty: Turning Human Potential into Market Value with Ade McCormack

Insights from the Deloitte Best Managed Companies Symposium on 1st June 2023.

In today’s rapidly changing world, the link between talent and value has become more important than ever. As the future becomes more and more unknowable, it is essential for business leaders to understand the evolving landscape and harness human potential to drive market value.

Embracing Uncertainty

To comprehend the changing world, we need to journey back to the origins of technology. From the invention of the wheel to the advent of computers and smartphones, technological advancements have undergone exponential growth over the decade. Today, we find ourselves experiencing the fastest ever rate of change while simultaneously facing an unparalleled level of uncertainty and volatility. This current state is merely a prelude to the disruptions that lie ahead – in fact, it’s the slowest day of innovation we’ll ever experience. Digital transformation and automation has ushered in a digital tsunami, permanently altering the business landscape. Therefore, the notion of a “new normal” or “next normal” doesn’t actually exist, instead, continuous disruption becomes our new reality.

Raising the Bar with Innovation

In the face of disruption, organisations are compelled to elevate their innovation efforts. Past success is no longer a reliable indicator of future achievements. To thrive, businesses must embrace the mindset of a startup, approaching each day as day one. Traditional factory models, with their emphasis on processes and efficiency, are ill-suited for disruption. Most organisations today, even service-based ones, function as factories, with data flowing along their conveyor belts. However, to navigate the uncertain terrain, businesses must tap into creativity, curiosity, and courage, which have been the driving forces behind human progress. Unfortunately, many organisations treat their employees as replaceable cogs in the machine, hindering the full realisation of human potential.

The convergence of technology and humanity is leading us towards an augmented future. It might be said that we’re speciating towards becoming augmented humans, but even if the change isn’t quite that drastic, it’s not far from it. The concept of the Metaverse may represent the ultimate manifestation of this trajectory.

To adapt effectively to the changing world, organisations should look to the most successful human operating model, the tribe. Throughout history, tribes have thrived by operating in real-time, engaging with their environment, and leveraging their collective intelligence. This tribal approach, rooted in adaptability, can be harnessed to build super resilient organisations that embrace disruption.

Anti-Fragility and Experimentation

Resilience alone is no longer sufficient in the face of relentless disruption. Super resilience, allows organizations to thrive in the storm rather than wait for it to pass. Failure and experimentation become integral components of innovation. Successful organisations such as Netflix, Google, and Amazon consistently update their business models to optimise for high levels of disruption. Technological advancements enable the creation of innovative products, services, and business models. However, it is essential to recognise that true talent extends beyond technical skills. Differentiated experiences arise from the thoughts and perspectives of individuals, such as the artists Picasso and Lady Gaga, who challenge traditional norms and push boundaries.

The Future of Talent Management

Organisations that recognise the anthropological drivers of human well-being foster a sense of humanity within their workforce. By acknowledging the human side of their team members, these organisations create cognitive gymnasiums where their employees can exercise their minds, fostering innovation and creativity. The future of talent management lies in treating individuals as cognitive athletes rather than mere resources. In this paradigm, leadership must shift from a centralised model to one where everyone has the opportunity to lead. Situational awareness supersedes strategic planning in an environment characterised by rapid change. The role of leaders shifts to acquiring and retaining the best people, focusing on people rather than profits alone.

Organisations should strive to distribute decision-making, value, and rewards more equitably, and by doing this, they will begin to address the economic and social disparities arising from centralised models. Treating people as assets rather than resources allows organisations to tap into their full potential without burning them out. To navigate disruption effectively, organisations must cultivate cognitive bandwidth by eliminating cognitive leaks and promoting cognitive gains. The concept of ubiquitous leadership, wherein creativity flourishes through collaborative idea exchange, requires the construction of graceful organizations founded on principles of civility and emotional intelligence.

The most effectively managed companies understand the importance of regulation and financial prudence. However, they also recognise the need for experimentation and agility to stay ahead of the curve. Running traditional businesses while concurrently fostering people-centric organisations ensures the development of new business models within the industry. By embracing change and adapting to the evolving landscape, businesses can transform uncertainty into opportunities for growth and success.

In an era of relentless disruption and uncertainty, business leaders must turn their attention to harnessing human potential to drive market value. By redefining talent management, building super resilient organisations, and embracing distributed leadership, companies can thrive in the face of uncertainty. Navigating the infinite game requires the wisdom to adapt, the courage to experiment, and the vision to create a future where individuals are valued as cognitive athletes and organisations operate as living, sensing organisms. It is through this transformative approach that businesses will secure their position in an ever-changing world.